Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mini Cauliflower Souffles

Cauliflower in the fridge...need to make an appetizer... hmmm what to do... I KNOW! Mini Cauliflower Souffles.
Perfect, quick and easy, very tasty too! This recipe makes about 12 muffin size souffles.

Half a cauliflower, grated
2 tablespoons of buttermilk (or heavy cream, or milk)
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon of basil
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375. In a bowl, whip the egg whites until fluffy and peaks form. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and add the rest of the ingredients. Add the mixture to the egg whites and fold together with a spoon or spatula. butter or spray the muffin tins with baking spray, then fill them with the cauliflower mix 3/4 of the way and pop in the oven. 

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. They are delicious and a great way to make kids eat their veggies. These little bites are great for parties, light and fluffy with a great taste.

Cauliflower Souffles

A great way to end the year 2012!! Yum

-Chef Cat

Fajitas Night!!

Put on your Sombreros because tonight is Fajita night, one of my family's favorites. It's fun, everyone gets to make their own, put what they like onto their warm tortillas...lime...cilantro...juicy chicken... mmm my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I just made my Guacamole (half of it already devoured), a champagne glass in my hand, table is set, I am ready to rumble!

Cooking and Champagne with pomegranate seeds. Heaven.

Here is what you'll need:


  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 sachets of fajitas seasoning (I usually make my own seasoning, but I'm lazy right now)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins (or skirt/flank steak), trimmed of fat cut into strips
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
Other Ingredients:
  • 2 red or green bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro
  • 12 flour tortillas, warm
  • Guacamole (Check out my recipe)
  • Good quality store bought salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese

In a bowl, put all the meat with the marinade ingredients (onions, lime juice, cilantro, etc) and let it sit for 2-4 hours in the fridge. This will tenderize the meat and make it oh-so juicy and delicious. 

Heat up a pan medium-high with a teaspoon of olive oil. Place all your bell peppers and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the marinade and your meat into the pan and add 1 tablespoons of water, stir.

Lower the heat to a medium flame and stir occasionally, this will take about 10-15 minutes. The chicken will be fully cooked and the vegetables will be barely limp. When everything is ready, sprinkle the rest of your cilantro on top, or have it in a separate serving bowl.

mmmm cilantro
You can heat up all the tortillas and have the guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and shredded cheese on the table. 
To serve, I personally like to place the pan in the middle of the table with serving utensils so everyone can take what they want.

I know I know, we drink wine with fajitas...we're goes with everything.
Spread some guacamole on a tortilla, top with a few slices of chicken, peppers and onions, and salsa. Roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling.

Dig in! But have spare napkins, it tends to get messy.

Fajita number...3

-Chef Cat

Butternut Squash Velouté

This the season to eat SQUASH! One of my favorite is the butternut. It is great, just roasted, pureed, or in soups! And what is better than a warm cup of soup when it's cold outside? Okay, maybe a nice chimney fire and someone rubbing your feet while you drink some hot cocoa, but that's besides the point. 
We're talking about food here...

I make this velouté in many ways, and it always varies depending on what I have in the fridge and pantry. Velouté is French for a "velvety" soup/sauce where all the ingredients are heated and blended together to make a melt-in-your-mouth texture. I usually don't use beer, but in this one I figured, Why not? I realized using a dark beer gives it a bit of a smoky tang which I enjoyed. You can also add carrots, or other vegetables. Explore with your taste buds, cooking is suppose to be fun!

Here's what you'll need:

2 tablespoon butter
1 beer (preferably a dark beer)
1 butternut squash
1 teaspoon sage
1 Coriander leaf
salt and pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large garlic glove
1 cup chicken stock (you can also just use water)
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup parmesan

Cut off and discard the ends of each butternut squash. Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil,
salt and pepper, and pop in the oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. While that is roasting in the oven, in an 8-quart stockpot, add the butter melt over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. When the squash is fully roasted, add it in, along with the beer, coriander leaf, and chicken stock. 

Bring the mixture to a boil and add the sage. Continue to boil until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Take out the coriander, and turn off the heat.

Take out the Coriander leaf

Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and thick (you can also use a blender, and then pour the mixture back into the pot when done). 

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the soup warm over low heat. Add the heavy cream, Dijon mustard, and parmesan to the mixture and stir. 

Butternut Squash Veloute

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a cheese or garlic crostini or a touch of heavy cream on top.

Enjoy that warm cup of soup, and don't be afraid to ask for a foot rub in front of the fireplace.

-Chef Cat

Sunday, December 23, 2012